The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in the Middle East
The Arab world is not in a compromising mood… Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps get something, but only by the force of your arms…But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions” (Bard 1). The Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha said this statement on September 16, 1947, eight months before the state of Israel was established. The Arabs held this mentality in a time when Israel was not yet a fact. This trait was hereditary in the sense that it was taught to their children, who taught it to their children, and so on. Those are the people who are living in Arab countries, and still despise everything about Israel and believe that, no matter what, negotiations are useless. This is especially true today with the Palestinians, for as Suha Arafat, wife of Yasser Arafat, stated, “I have always rejected normalizing relations with (Israeli) women… They always invite me to their functions and I categorically refuse because I hate Israel” (Bard 2). This statement proves that though the Israeli’s try to normalize relations with the Palestinians, they refuse because they want nothing to do with Israel. From the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 to the present, there have been five wars, all of which have ended with peace treaties that did not do much. A peace treaty will never normalize the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East because so many have failed in the past.
May 14, 1948 was a victorious day for the Jewish people; the state of Israel was born. The excitement, however, was short lived because the armies of Syria, Iraq, Trans-Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon entered Israel the next day in an effort to erase it off the map. “The Arabs themselves expected the new state to be swept off the map in months if not weeks” (Ross 30). The majority of the Arab world fiercely opposed the state of Israel and refused to recognize it in any way. As Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League said on May 15, 1948, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre” (Bard 1). So it was; over 6,300 Israelis were killed in the War of Independence (Israeli Casualties in Battle). Rhodes Peace Pact did not force the Arabs to recognize Israel as a state, allowing its legal existence to be ignored. This peace treaty did not bring true peace because it would take decades before Arab countries would recognize the state of Israel (Blumberg 84). Even though a cease-fire was in effect, the war continued as Arabs closed the Suez Canal to Israel shipping and Israel (in retaliation) did not allow the 700,000 Arab refugees return to their homes (Regan 22).
The problem was that no Arab State wanted those refugees so camps were set up in Gaza Strip, which was controlled by Egypt, and the West Bank, which was controlled by Jordan (23). This inability to find a “home land” for the people now called Palestinians would lead...